Tools & Tips to Clean Up & Green Up Your Community
Tools & Tips to Clean Up & Green Up Your Community

Massachusetts Beautification Bulletin | February 2023
Keep Massachusetts Beautiful
Dear Friend,
It's been a mostly snowless winter in many parts of Massachusetts, which means we're not getting the usual temporary reprieve from the unsightly litter that winter usually brings. In fact, many of our local KMB chapters have been able to keep busy with regular litter cleanups all winter long. But things will really kick into high gear when the 2023 Great Massachusetts Cleanup kicks off on April 1. Scroll down for resources to help you jumpstart your plans to clean up and beautify your community in 2023 and beyond.
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Get a Jumpstart on Your Spring 2023 Community Cleanup Planning

One of the keys to a successful community litter cleanup is to get an early start with your planning. If your community plans to participate in the 2023 Great Massachusetts Cleanup, take advantage of our planning resources, including:
If you are an individual who simply wants to volunteer for a Great Massachusetts Cleanup event, check out our online event calendar to find a cleanup near you.
Take Action to Clean Up Your Community

Now Accepting Applications for the 2023 Next-Gen Environmental Leader Scholarship

This $2,500 scholarship grant support students who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental protection, environmental justice, or community service to improve the environmental health or sustainability of their community.

Students who attend high school in a community that supports a certified local KMB chapter are eligible to apply. As of this writing, this includes the following communities: Ashby, Ashburnham, Attleboro, Canton, Charlton, Easton, Framingham, Gardner, Hyde Park, Mansfield, Natick, Newton, North Attleboro, Plainville, Randolph, Rehoboth, Salem, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Stoneham, Walpole, Weymouth, and Worcester. The deadline for 2023 applications is May 31.
Learn More Or Apply Now

EPR Laws Would Hold Companies Responsible For Reducing the Waste They Create

Anyone who participates in litter cleanups on a regular basis knows that it can often feel like you’re on a hamster wheel. As soon as you complete a cleanup, the trash starts piling up again the very next day. Believe us—we feel and share your pain!

That’s why we support efforts to pass Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation. EPR is a waste reduction approach that seeks to hold companies responsible for the environmental impacts of their products, including downstream impacts from the disposal (as well as the littering or dumping) of their products. The goal is to shift the financial burden of disposal back onto the companies that profit from selling these products, rather than having consumers, taxpayers, and municipalities shoulder all the costs. 

Successful EPR programs for paint, mattresses, consumer packaging, and other products are already in place in several states. In Massachusetts, efforts to pass EPR legislation have thus far failed. But that does mean we can’t keep trying. 

One area ripe for an EPR solution is mattress disposal. After the recent ban on the disposal of mattresses in Massachusetts, illegal dumping is on the increase. An Act to Establish a Mattress Recycling Program, sponsored by Rep. Ted Phillips, would ensure the mattress industry covers more of the cost of recycling and disposal of its products, rather than forcing consumers to pay hefty fees. 

The law would require a small advance recovery fee at the point of a mattress purchase and provide free, convenient opportunities for the collection of discarded mattresses. This would reduce the financial burden on consumers and make it easier to recycle mattresses properly. Several other states have already successfully implemented mattress EPR programs, so why not do the same here in Massachusetts?

This and several other bills filed in the Massachusetts Legislature this year—including a refresh of the state’s bottle bill—also deserve support and passage. You can support these efforts to hold the companies whose products are often littered across our landscape responsible by contacting your state representative and senator
You can also learn more about the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility via the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute
Learn More About EPR
Plant Something Bee-eautiful
Sponsored By Noble Oak Whiskey

New Buzz About Our Plant Something Bee-eautiful Program

Thanks to generous support from our sponsor Noble Oak Whiskey, we are pleased to announce that we have increased the number and size of grants available through our Plant Something Bee-eautiful program.

Starting this year, we will be able to award eight grants as follows:
  • Three $2,500 grants reserved exclusively for communities that support a certified local KMB chapter
  • Five $500 grants are available to communities with a KMB chapter, as well as other nonprofit entities
Our annual Plant Something Bee-eautiful grants support the planting of pollinator-friendly plants and trees in public spaces. This program not only beautifies public spaces but also restores critical natural habitats for pollinators. The deadline for 2023 grant applications is July 31.
Learn More and Apply for a Grant

The KMB Blog:

Lithium Batteries Pose Dangers To Recyclers  

Lithium batteries pose a great danger to recycling facilities, as they are inherently flammable. If a battery overheats and is damaged, it can burst into flames and cause widespread damage.

In fact, lithium batteries that have been incorrectly added to recycling streams have caused massive fires at facilities across the country, causing injury to workers and forcing facility closure. In the U.S., waste facility fires increased 26% from 2016 to 2019. To learn more about how to identify and recycle lithium batteries, read our recent blog post.
Learn More About Lithium Battery Disposal

Launch a Local KMB Chapter in Your Community in 2023 

Does the litter along local roadways and public spaces in your community get under your skin? Do you wonder why nobody seems to be doing anything about it? If so, you've got all the makings of a Keep Massachusetts Beautiful chapter leader!
Our local chapter leaders are action-oriented people who motivate and organize local volunteers and partner with local community leaders to clean up and green up their communities. They are a unique breed! If you'd like to make an impact in your community in 2023, learn more about launching a KMB chapter in your community.
Launch a KMB Chapter in Your Community!
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Thank you for reading our newsletter and please contact me if I can answer any questions you may have about our programs, launching a local KMB chapter in your community, or sponsorship opportunities. 
Neil Rhein, Founder & Executive Director
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